D.W. Coltman's research while affiliated with University of Alberta and other places

Publications (476)

Article
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Measuring individual reproductive success in the wild is often achieved by counting the number of descendants produced by individuals. In seeking to understand how reproductive success can inform us about natural selection, however, we are faced with a conundrum. In terms of timing, what is the most relevant measure for examining selection? We migh...
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The rate of adaptive evolution, the contribution of selection to genetic changes that increase mean fitness, is determined by the additive genetic variance in individual relative fitness. To date, there are few robust estimates of this parameter for natural populations, and it is therefore unclear whether adaptive evolution can play a meaningful ro...
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In polygynous species, secondary sexual traits such as weapons or elaborate ornaments have evolved through intrasexual competition for mates. In some species, these traits are present in both sexes but are underdeveloped in the sex facing lower intrasexual competition for mates. It is often assumed that these underdeveloped sexually selected traits...
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Domestic sheep and their wild relatives harbor substantial genetic variants that can form the backbone of molecular breeding, but their genome landscapes remain understudied. Here, we present a comprehensive genome resource for wild ovine species, landraces and improved breeds of domestic sheep, comprising high-coverage (∼16.10×) whole-genomes of 8...
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Whole-genome sequencing has advanced the study of species evolution, including the detection of genealogical discordant events such as ancient hybridization and incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). The evolutionary history of bighorn (Ovis canadensis) and thinhorn (Ovis dalli) sheep present an ideal system to investigate evolutionary discordance due t...
Preprint
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While cooperative interactions among kin are a key building block in the societies of group-living mammals, their importance for species with more variable social environments is unclear. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) defend individual territories in dynamic neighbourhoods and are known to benefit from living among familiar...
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The domestication and subsequent development of sheep are crucial events in the history of human civilization and the agricultural revolution. However, the impact of interspecific introgression on the genomic regions under domestication and subsequent selection remains unclear. Here, we analyze the whole genomes of domestic sheep and their wild rel...
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Hybridization of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and white‐tailed deer (O. virginianus) appears to be a semi‐regular occurrence in western North America. Previous studies confirmed the presence of hybrids in a variety of sympatric habitats but their developing molecular resources limited identification to the earliest, most admixed generations. For...
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A wide range of species have been found to differentiate kin from nonkin. However, the ability to recognize kin, or the costs and benefits of discriminating kin from nonkin may depend on particular extrinsic environmental or intrinsic physiological conditions, resulting in context-dependent kin discrimination. North American red squirrels, Tamiasci...
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Individual variation in quantitative traits clearly influence many ecological and evolutionary processes. Moderate to high heritability estimates of personality and life-history traits suggest some level of genetic control over these traits. Yet, we know very little of the underlying genetic architecture of phenotypic variation in the wild. In this...
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In long‐lived polygynous species, male reproductive success is often monopolized by a few mature dominant individuals. Young males are generally too small to be dominant and may employ alternative tactics; however, little is known about the determinants of reproductive success for young males. Understanding the causes and consequences of variabilit...
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How animals, particularly livestock, adapt to various climates and environments over short evolutionary time is of fundamental biological interest. Further, understanding the genetic mechanisms of adaptation in indigenous livestock populations is important for designing appropriate breeding programs to cope with the impacts of changing climate. Her...
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One of the outstanding questions in evolutionary biology is the extent to which mutually beneficial interactions and kin-selection can facilitate the evolution of cooperation by mitigating conflict between interacting organisms. The indirect fitness benefits gained from associating with kin are an important pathway to conflict resolution [1], but c...
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One of the outstanding questions in evolutionary biology is the extent to which mutually beneficial interactions and kin selection can facilitate the evolution of cooperation by mitigating conflict between interacting organisms. The indirect fitness benefits gained from associating with kin are an important pathway to conflict resolution,¹ but conf...
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Wildlife disease incidence is increasing, resulting in negative impacts on the economy, biodiversity, and potentially human health. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids (wild and captive) which continues to spread geographically resulting in exposure to potential new host species. The disease...
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The pace-of-life syndrome hypothesis posits that personality traits (i.e. consistent individual differences in behaviour) are linked to life history and fitness. Specifically, fast-paced individuals are predicted to be proactive (i.e. active and aggressive) with an earlier age at first reproduction, a shorter life span and higher fecundity than slo...
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Understanding the genetic changes underlying phenotypic variation in sheep (Ovis aries) may facilitate our efforts towards further improvement. Here, we report the deep resequencing of 248 sheep including the wild ancestor (O. orientalis), landraces, and improved breeds. We explored the sheep variome and selection signatures. We detected genomic re...
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Individual differences in animal behaviour influence ecological and evolutionary processes. Much behavioural variation has a heritable component, suggesting that genetics may play a role in its development. Yet, the study of the mechanistic description linking genes to behaviour in nature remains in its infancy, and such research is considered a ch...
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Dispersal is nearly universal; yet, which sex tends to disperse more and their success thereafter depends on the fitness consequences of dispersal. We asked if lifetime fitness differed between residents and immigrants (successful between-population dispersers) and their offspring using 29 years of monitoring from North American red squirrels (Tami...
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The Canadian Rocky Mountains are one of the few places on Earth where the spatial genetic structure of wide-ranging species have been relatively unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance. We characterised the spatial genetic structure of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis (Shaw, 1804)) in the northern portion of their range. Usi...
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Identifying genetic variants responsible for phenotypic variation under selective pressure has the potential to enable productive gains in natural resource conservation and management. Despite this potential, identifying adaptive candidate loci is not trivial, and linking genotype to phenotype is a major challenge in contemporary genetics. Many of...
Preprint
Full-text available
The pace of life syndrome hypothesis posits that personality traits (i.e., consistent individual differences in behaviour) are linked to life history and fitness. Specifically, fast-paced individuals are predicted to be proactive (i.e., active and aggressive) with an earlier age at first reproduction, a shorter lifespan, and a higher fecundity than...
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Understanding the genetic basis of fitness-related trait variation has long been of great interest to evolutionary biologists. Secondary sexual characteristics, such as horns in bovids, are particularly intriguing since they can be potentially affected by both natural and sexual selection. Until recently, however, the study of fitness-related quant...
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In north-central Alberta, lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta Dougl. ex Loud. var. latifolia) and jack pine (Pinus banksiana Lamb.) form a mosaic hybrid zone, the spatial extent of which remains poorly defined. We sought to refine the genetic and geographic distribution of this hybrid zone in western North America to provide information important in pre...
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Patterns of genetic variation of a species can be shaped by events that occur at wide temporal and geographic scales. Geophysical processes, such as continental glaciations, can affect species vicariance at wide scales whereas processes that act at finer scales, such as gene flow between populations, can have more localized effects. Recent studies...
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Interactions between organisms are ubiquitous and have important consequences for phenotypes and fitness. Individuals can even influence those they never meet, if they have extended phenotypes that alter the environments others experience. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) guard food hoards, an extended phenotype that typically...
Article
Organisms can affect one another's phenotypes when they socially interact. Indirect genetic effects occur when an individual's phenotype is affected by genes expressed in another individual. These heritable effects can enhance or reduce adaptive potential, thereby accelerating or reversing evolutionary change. Quantifying these social effects is th...
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Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are endemic to a wide variety of habitats in western North America, many of which are shared in sympatry with their closely related sister-species white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), whom they hybridize with in wild populations. Although mule deer meet many ideal conditions for a molecular ecological research...
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Fisher's principle explains that population sex ratio in sexually reproducing organisms is maintained at 1 : 1 owing to negative frequency-dependent selection, such that individuals of the rare sex realize greater reproductive opportunity than individuals of the more common sex until equilibrium is reached. If biasing offspring sex ratio towards th...
Preprint
Full-text available
Interactions between organisms are ubiquitous and have important consequences for phenotypes and fitness. Individuals can even influence those they never meet, if they have extended phenotypes which mean the environments others experience are altered. North American red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) guard food hoards, an extended phenotype th...
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Isolation of small populations is expected to reduce fitness through inbreeding and loss of genetic variation, impeding population growth and compromising population persistence. Species with long generation time are the least likely to be rescued by evolution alone. Management interventions that maintain or restore genetic variation to assure popu...
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Among polar bears (Ursus maritimus), fitness is dependent on body size through males’ abilities to win mates, females’ abilities to provide for their young, and all bears’ abilities to survive increasingly longer fasting periods caused by climate change. In the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation (near Churchill, Manitoba, Canada), polar bears have de...
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Wild animals show consistent individual variation in behavior across time and/or contexts, now referred to as animal personality. While this variability may have important ecological and evolutionary implications, how and why variation in animal personality is maintained in a natural population remains unclear. In this study, we assessed the influe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Organisms can affect one another's phenotypes when they socially interact. Indirect genetic effects occur when an individual's phenotype is affected by genes expressed in another individual. These heritable effects can enhance or reduce adaptive potential, thereby accelerating or reversing evolutionary change. Quantifying these social effects is th...
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Full-text available
https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/2027.42/143645/1/ecy2158-sup-0002-AppendixS2.pdf
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Elucidating the genetic basis of fitness-related traits is a major goal of molecular ecology. Traits subject to sexual selection are particularly interesting, as non-random mate choice should deplete genetic variation and thereby their evolutionary benefits. We examined the genetic basis of three sexually selected morphometric traits in bighorn she...
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The five most pervasive anthropogenic threats to biodiversity are over-exploitation, habitat changes, climate change, invasive species, and pollution. Since all of these threats can affect intraspecific biodiversity-including genetic variation within populations-humans have the potential to induce contemporary microevolution in wild populations. We...
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Background Our understanding of gut microbiota has been limited primarily to findings from human and laboratory animals, but what shapes the gut microbiota in nature remains largely unknown. To fill this gap, we conducted a comprehensive study of gut microbiota of a well-studied North American red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) population. Red...
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Interactions with conspecifics are an important aspect of an individual's environment. Although it is well known that the presence of conspecifics can have important effects on behaviour, in general it is also now acknowledged that the composition of the social environment can vary, and that this variation may have profound effects on individual be...
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Recent studies suggest that evolutionary changes can occur on a contemporary time scale. Hence, evolution can influence ecology and vice-versa. To understand the importance of eco-evolutionary dynamics in population dynamics, we must quantify the relative contribution of ecological and evolutionary changes to population growth and other ecological...
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Kin recognition can facilitate kin selection and may have played a role in the evolution of sociality. Red squirrels (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus) defend territories using vocalizations known as rattles. They use rattles to discriminate kin, though the mechanism underlying this ability is unknown. Our objective was to distinguish between the mechanisms...
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The development of male secondary sexual characters such as antlers or horns has substantial biological and socio-economic importance because in many species these traits affect male fitness positively through sexual selection and negatively through trophy hunting. Both environmental conditions and selective hunting can affect horn growth but their...
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Integral projection models (IPMs) are extremely flexible tools for ecological and evolutionary inference. IPMs track the distribution of phenotype in populations through time, using functions describing phenotype-dependent development, inheritance, survival and fecundity. For evolutionary inference, two important features of any model are the abili...
Preprint
Full-text available
Integral projection models (IPMs) are extremely flexible tools for ecological and evolutionary inference. IPMs track the distribution of phenotype in populations through time, using functions describing phenotype-dependent development, inheritance, survival and fecundity. For evolutionary inference, two important features of any model are the abili...
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Full-text available
An understanding of mating systems and fine-scale spatial genetic structure is required to effectively manage forest pest species such as Dendroctonus ponderosae (mountain pine beetle). Here we used genome-wide single-nucleotide polymorphisms to assess the fine-scale genetic structure and mating system of D. ponderosae collected from a single stand...
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Multigenerational pedigrees have been developed for free-ranging populations of many species, are frequently used to describe mating systems, and are used in studies of quantitative genetics. Here, we document the development of a 4449-individual pedigree for the Western Hudson Bay subpopulation of polar bears (Ursus maritimus), created from relati...
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Past glaciation events have played a major role in shaping the genetic diversity and distribution of wild sheep in North America. The advancement of glaciers can isolate populations in ice-free refugia, where they can survive until the recession of ice sheets. The major Beringian refugium is thought to have held thinhorn sheep (Ovis dalli) populati...
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Sexual selection has a critical role in evolution and it is fundamental to identify what ecological factors drive its variation. Disentangling the ecological correlates of sexual selection over the long term, however, is challenging and has rarely been done in nature. We sought to assess how demographic changes influenced the intensity, direction,...
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Recently, an extensive study of 2,748 polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from across their circumpolar range was published in PLOS ONE, which used microsatellites and mitochondrial haplotypes to apparently show altered population structure and a dramatic change in directional gene flow towards the Canadian Archipelago—an area believed to be a future ref...
Data
Complete set of supporting information figures and tables. (DOCX)
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In the Canadian Rocky Mountains, the gray wolf (Canis lupus) has experienced range contractions and expansions, which can greatly affect pack stability as well as population structure. In addition, this area has a highly heterogeneous landscape that may form barriers to dispersal. To understand factors affecting pack structure and large-scale gene...
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The potential for selective harvests to induce rapid evolutionary change is an important question for conservation and evolutionary biology, with numerous biological, social and economic implications. We analyze 39 years of phenotypic data on horn size in bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) subject to intense trophy hunting for 23 years, after which ha...